251A HIST SEM 1: Collaborative Research Seminar: American History
W 9:00AM -- 11:50A ROLFE 3106
|Instructor||Office||Phone Number||Office Hours||Yeager, Mary A.||7381 Bunche||310 825-3489, 310 firstname.lastname@example.org||TBA|
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THE MANY FACES OF CAPITALISM: SEEING ECONOMIES IN CULTURES AND SOCIETIES
Prof. Mary A. Yeager FALL 2008, UCLA
#7381 Bunche Hall
Seminar: Rolfe #3106, 9am -12noon
Office Hours: T 4-6 p.m.
This two quarter research seminar begins with this premise: to understand the history of capitalism one must know something about the workability of economies. Students are challenged to see economies in cultures and societies. How are economies seen? If they can be seen, do economies also smell? Do they taste differently?
The course begins with two historical puzzles, the answers to which are intimately interrelated. The first concerns the professions, of which History is only one slice of an ever expanding and always changing intellectual pie. What have historians contributed to debates about capitalism? What have they shown us about the workability of economies? What are the strengths and weaknesses of historical perspectives on economic change?
Since the late 19th century, a variety of professions have evolved, some of which emerge from disciplinary battles within academia and others of which are tied more closely to practices in the real world, such as law and perhaps, business. A professionalization process comprises one element in a much broader transformation of society through modernization. The journey toward professional ideals is long, arduous, seldom complete, and often contentious. The seminar represents only one path toward the “professional ideal,” which in reality is always under deconstruction and reconstruction.
A second puzzle concerns capitalism.
As Joseph Schumpter, Joan Robinson, and Joyce Appleby have continually
argued, capitalism is ever-changing. It
displays many faces at many times in a variety of places. The course
does not explicitly deal with how the
I encourage you to re-imagine the list of economies noted below. The list reflects my own personal interests and an appreciation of particular problems of capitalism. Intensive investigation into the workability of these economies offers students a wide choice of possible research topics Among the economies included are the following:
(1) professional economies
(2) exchange/tradinging/mercantile economies
(3) Indian economies and Slave/plantation economies
(4) regional economies
(5) female/ male economies/ethnic economies
(6) industrial economies
(7) crisis economies
(8) national and international economies
As a professional-in-the making, you are in the driver’s seat. You determine where the car should go and what type of fuel you will use. The first quarter of this research seminar should provide the building blocks for the engine, if not the entire automobile. By the second quarter, you should feel confident enough to start driving the car that you have been building. Some cars will fall apart; some will race faster and last longer than others. But all cars will reach the finish line (no incompletes).
As you begin to tackle historical problems of interest to you, keep in mind that almost all of life’s problems have some economic content. Material changes in economies also generate moral, social, political and psychological consequences. The challenge is to understand the dynamic and ever-changing interrelations between the economic and the cultural, the political and the ethical/moral in ways that help to address the particular problems of interest to you.
Even if you do not intend to become a business and economic historian, I want you to enjoy the journey. To do that, you have to work, just as people have to work to transform economies into useful instruments of human will and creativity. A central question often asked b y scholars of economies in other countries, is “Why do Americans work so hard?” Economic development is really about work, hard and dirty work, with hands, hearts, heads and a few tools. People work hard so that they don’t have to work so hard when they can’t hardly work anymore. Some people work hard to pass others by, to get ahead, to squash other little fishes in the pond before they get eaten by the bigger ones. Others work hard because they have a gun to their heads. Some people even work to improve their character, their economic conditions, their lives and the lives of others.
Why you have to work in this course may differ dramatically with why you have to work in other courses. I hope that you take this course and remember everything you have read so that when it comes time to figure out how to survive in the economy by teaching students what you know, you can tell them something compelling and coherent about economic change. I hope this course opens your eyes to the world of money and commodities and capitalism even if it doesn’t make you rich, fat or happy. I want to help make you “sensible fans” of the economy so that in your darkest hours, when your friends are busily downloading music on their ipods and you are trying to figure out why price elasticity equals a percentage change in supply divided by the percentage change in price, you can take some comfort knowing that “Rock and roll will be a passing fad compared with the baby boom’s loyalty to growth-oriented investment planning.”
Among the questions that the seminar addresses are the following: What is an economy? How are its historical boundaries and dynamics investigated, situated, evaluated and understood over time? Who works economies and how have the workers and working conditions changed over time? Why do some economies generate better or worse results than others? How have historians evaluated the results and how do you rate the historians?
The course should enable you to expand your professional tool kit to include an understanding of basic concepts associated with capitalism, including private/public property, growth/contraction, income generation/contraction, competition/monopoly/oligopoly, markets/ technology, innovation/ routinization, instability/stability, inequality/equality.
*Breen, MARKETPLACE OF REVOLUTION
Breen, TOBACCO CULTURE (Cal/Prin)
*Castells, RISE OF NETWORK SOCIETY (Blackwell)
Godley, JEWISH IMMIGRANT ENTREPRENEURSHIP (Macmill)
Gold, ETHNIC ECONOMIES
Koehn, BRAND NEW (Harvard Bus)
McCraw, CREATING MODERN CAPITALISM
Sandage, BORN LOSERS (Harvard)
The readings are divided into core readings, which every student is required to read and discuss. The second half of the seminar will be devoted to a student’s handling of a supplementary reading, usually a single text. The student responsible for the supplementary text will prepare a one page written summary of the book under discussion. The summary will be sent by email attachment to me and the rest of the students by Monday 9 p.m. for discussion the following Wednesday. Whenever possible the student presenting the written summary should also plan to connect the ideas developed in the complementary materials to the core readings so that all students can debate the issues raised by the core and complementary readings. Another student will take responsibility for a commentary on both the discussion in the core and supplementary readings during the closing ten minutes of the class.. This verbal commentary will be in the form of a constructive analysis of what has been learned about a particular economy and what more needs to be done.
To whet your appetite for risk, I have also devised an early assignment that demands some thought but no additional readings or research (imagine that!). As I see gaping holes in knowledge, I also reserve the right to assign new assignments to get you up to speed with the materials and to sharpen your own writing abilities.
EVALUATION (intended as a rough approximation).
No input, no output.
Verbal participation (consistent, insightful, articulate) TOTAL=35 points
(1) Overall, counting each week = 25 points
(2) closing summary, EACH STUDENT x 2@5 points each = 10 points
Written assignments: TOTAL =65 points
(1) autobiography (to be revised and turned in the final day of class) =5 points
(2) one page summary of supplementary readings x 4@5 points each = 20 points.
(3) Data analysis, 3 pages, due next week, Oct. 9 =10 points
(4) Outline of proposed project (to be submitted last week of class) =30 points
SCHEDULE OF READINGS/ASSIGNMENTS.
Week I. Professional Economies
Question of interest: To what extent is professionalization a process? Consider its elements.
Dorothy Ross, THE ORIGINS OF AMERICAN SOCIAL SCIENCE
____________MODERNIST IMPULSES IN THE HUMAN SCIENCES, 1870-1930
Andrew Abbott, THE SYSTEM OF PROFESSIONS
Joyce Tang and Earl Smith, eds. WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN AMERICAN PROFESSIONS
Thomas L. Haskell, THE EMERGENCE OF PROFESSIONAL SOCIAL SCIENCE
Week II. Mercantile/Trading/Exchange Economies
Adam Smith, WEALTH OF NATIONS
Robert Brenner, MERCHANTS AND REVOLUTION: COMMERCIAL CHANGE, POLITICAL CONFLICT, AND LONDON’S OVERSEAS TRADERS, 1550-1653
Deirdre N. McCloskey, THE BOURGEOIS VIRTUES; ETHICS FOR AN AGE OF COMMERCE
Research Library, Reference Section
edition of HISTORICAL STATISTICS OF THE
Select any 5 data sets around which to build a history of one of the respective economies listed; no additional reading is required; write a 3 page history, based on the data only
Week III. Capitalism: An examination of the Puzzle
McCraw, pp. 1-18; 303-348
Weber, Protestant Ethic & Spirit of Capitalism
Yeager, WOMEN IN BUSINESS, vol. I in reference section library, Powell)
David Leverenz, Trachtenberg, Haskell, and Livingston, Inc.
American Literary History, Vol. 15, No. 4, History, Economics, and Criticism (Winter, 2003), pp. 738-747
Thomas L. Haskell Capitalism and the Origins of the Humanitarian Sensibility, Part 2
The American Historical Review, Vol. 90, No. 3 (Jun., 1985), pp. 547-566
Published by: American Historical Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1860956
Richard R. John Elaborations, Revisions, Dissents: Alfred D. Chandler, Jr.'s, "The Visible Hand" after Twenty Years , The Business History Review, Vol. 71, No. 2 (Summer, 1997), pp. 151-200
Week IV. Agrarian Economies
Price, DIVIDING THE LAND (U of Chicago, 1995)
Ronald D. Eller, UNEVEN GROUND,
Paul K. Conkin, A REVOLUTION DOWN ON THE FARM; THE TRANSFORMATION OF AMERICAN AGRICULTURE SINCE 1929
Olmstead and Rhode, CREATING ABUNDANCE; BIOLOGICAL INNOVATION AND AMERICAN AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
Ronald Formisano, FOR THE PEOPLE; AMERICAN POPULIST MOVEMENTS FROM THE REVOLUTION TO THE 1850s (U.NC Press, 2008)
Week V. Industrial Economies
Alfred D. Chandler, Jr. “Anthracite Coal and the Beginnings of the Industrial Revolution in the United States” Business History Review, Vol. 46, No. 2 (Summer, 1972), pp. 141-181
Nancy Koehn, BRAND NEW
Steven W. Usselman, REGULATING RAILROAD INNOVATION
Gerald Berk, ALTERNATIVE TRACKS; THE CONSTITUTION OF AMERICAN INDUSTRIAL ORDER, 1865-1917
Scott Reynolds Nelson, IRON CONFEDERACIES: SOUTHERN RAILWAYS, KLAN VIOLENCE AND RECONSTRUCTION
Week VI. Indian, Slave Economies
Robert Fogel, WITHOUT CONSENT OR CONTRACT
*Engerman, “Slavery” (scanned and available on line, in links)
Theda Perdue, SLAVERY AND THE EVOLUTION OF CHEROKEE SOCIETY (1979)
Richard White, THE MIDDLE GROUND:
INDIANS, EMPIRES, AND REPUBLICS IN THE
Edmund S. Morgan, AMERICAN SLAVERY, AMERICAN FREEDOM
*Peter Kolchin, AMERICAN SLAVERY: 1699-1877
Clyde A. Milner II, Walter Nugent, Elliott West, Karen R. Merrill, Philip J. Deloria and Richard White, A Historian Who Has Changed Our Thinking: A Roundtable on the Work of Richard White ,The Western Historical Quarterly, Vol. 33, No. 2 (Summer, 2002), pp. 137-157
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4144800
Douglas A. Blackmon, SLAVERY BY ANOTHER NAME; THE RE-ENSLAVEMENT OF BLACK AMERICANS FROM THE CIVIL WAR TO WORLD WAR II
WEEK VI. “OTHER ECONOMIES: FEMALE, MALE, ETHNIC, RACIAL”
Angel Kwolek-Folland, ENGENDERING BUSINESS: Men and Women in the Corporate Office, 1870-1930
Gold, ETHNIC ECONOMIES
Godley, JEWISH IMMIGRANT ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Joan Scott, Comment: Conceptualizing Gender in American Business History, The Business History Review, Vol. 72, No. 2, Gender and Business (Summer, 1998), pp. 242-249
Michael Kimmel, THE HISTORY OF MEN:
ESSAYS ON THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN AND BRITISH MASCULINITIES (chapter,
“Consuming Manhood: The Feminization of
American Culture and the Recreation of the Male Body, 1832-1920,” scanned and available in links),
Wendy Gamber, THE FEMALE ECONOMY: THE MILLINERY AND Dressmaking Trades, 1860-1930
Angel Kwolek-Folland, INCORPORATING WOMEN; A HISTORY OF WOMEN AND BUSINESS IN THE UNITED STATES
Pamela Laird, PULL
VII. FINANCIAL ECONOMIES
Core: Sandage, BORN LOSERS
Calder, FINANCING THE AMERICAN DREAM
Edward J. Balleisen, NAVIGATING
FAILURE; BANKRUPTCY AND COMMERCIAL SOCIETY IN ANTEBELLUM
VIII. Regional/ National/International Economies
Manuel Castells, THE RISE OF THE NETWORK SOCIETY
Mira Wilkins, The Emergence of Multinational
Mira Wilkins, The
Maturing of Multinational
Geoffrey Jones, Multinationals and Global Capitalism from the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Century
IX. Crisis Economies and Regulatory Economies: Is There a Link?
Naomi Klein, SHOCK CAPITALISM
Bob Brenner, THE BOOM AND THE BUBBLE:
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Oct 13 2008 09:00:18
Updated Oct 13 2008 09:00:18